Relief Chefs North West

Traditional room service is becoming a service fewer travelers are demanding.

Instead, they are looking to be able to order food the way they do at home. And hotels are responding by forming partnerships with food-delivery services such as Peapod and Grubhub.

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham late last year introduced Homemade @ Hawthorn, an in-room cooking program enabling guests to make easy meals. New York chef Hari Nayak and Top Chef competitor James Rigato have created an e-cookbook of recipes for the brand.

In May, the company launched a pilot program letting guests get groceries delivered to their rooms from Instacart and Peapod.

Hyatt Centric has partnered with food-ordering company Grubhub to let guests order from restaurants selected by hotel employees. Orders can be made through a customized landing page.

Residence Inn, part of Marriott International, leaves guests grocery-request forms in their suites. Employees will shop for the requested items, which are added to the final bill with no mark-ups. The rooms have fully equipped kitchens including refrigerators, microwave ovens and dishwashers.

Hoteliers say they are responding to travelers who crave an experience that resembles their home life. The popularity of cooking competition shows has also made many people enjoy the art of making their own meals.

A survey from Hawthorn Suites found that 66% of Americans believe being able to cook in their hotel room would make them feel more at home while traveling. Millennials — those travelers in their 20s and early 30s — were more likely to want to cook, according the survey.

“Our Millennial travelers are really excited about cooking and they like to cook in their normal lives,” says Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand leader of Residence Inn. “Growing up, they’ve been watching cooking competitions and they are into celebrity chefs. They view cooking as a form of relaxation and a form of entertainment.”

Online grocery-delivery services have also been on the rise. Last year, U.S. consumers spent an estimated $42 billion online in groceries in 2016, up more than 160% over 2015, according to Morgan Stanley. Industry experts believe the segment has the potential to grow substantially over the next decade with American consumers spending more than $100 billion on online groceries by 2025.

At the same time, traditional room service has not been a money-maker for hotels, and many have decided to suspend it. Travelers, meanwhile, have balked at prices for room service. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 37% of hotels offered room service in 2014 vs. 22% in 2016. Meanwhile, 71% of luxury hotels offered alternatives to room service last year.

“Room service can be complicated and expensive to operate well,” says Chekitan Dev, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. “In areas where there are local restaurants that can deliver a variety of food (like) New York City or where grocery delivery is readily available, it makes sense to outsource in-room dining to third parties.”

Some Hilton brands have moved toward pantry-style grab-and-go markets in their lobbies as an alternative. The shops offer hot or cold sandwiches, salads, snacks and sometimes beer and wine.

“Over the years, there has been a systemic shift in guests’ expectations of hotel food and beverage offerings,” says Jonathan Wilson, vice president of product innovation and brand services for Hilton. “There are guests who want a quick burger or salad delivered to their room though just as many might prefer a communal table where they can sit on their laptop and order a flat white or local beer or to be able to purchase something hot or cold from an in-hotel market.”

Even travel review website TripAdvisor has gotten into the food-delivery game, and has integrated Grubhub into its website in the USA and Canada. It recently also aligned itself with London-based Deliveroo to expand globally.

The food-delivery services are much more practical in extended-stay properties that have kitchens, which in general is a rapidly growing segment in the industry.

Larry Hambro, vice president of brand operations for Hawthorn Suites, says 15% to 30% of the brand’s guests stay there 30 nights or longer.

“Convenience is key for long-term travelers, especially when they are in an unfamiliar city,” he says. “How often can you eat out? It’s expensive to eat at a hotel. I don’t care if you’re on a per diem. It gets expensive.”

Hambro says some hotels have even organized cooking competitions among guests. Chefs Nayak and Rigato have created hearty, easy recipes, he says.

“These guys have created recipes you can cook in a mug,” he says.

Article originally published by Nancy Trejos for USA Today on 14th August 2017

Posted 361 weeks ago

Fishermen connect direct with restaurants

Larry Hillis is a third-generation fisherman out of Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond, B.C.. At 57, he’s spent most of his life fishing for a living. One thing Mr. Hillis has learned: the more steps his catch takes before reaching the dinner plate, the less he gets paid. Once he’s landed the day’s catch, it travels from the dock to the processor, to the wholesaler and retailer, and then finally to the consumer. Closing the supply chain can be the difference between making money and not,” he says.

A few months ago Mr. Hillis found a way to shorten the trip. He began working with Coastline Market Inc., a Vancouver startup whose app connects fishermen direct with restaurants, bypassing the middlemen.

Coastline Market was founded this year by Robert Kirstiuk, a theoretical physics student at Western University, and Joseph Lee, a computer science and business student at the University of British Columbia. Both are 21 and met in high school, where they discovered a mutual love of entrepreneurship. Their first venture, at 17, was an organic candle company. “We made them in our parents’ kitchens and we sold at farmers markets and to our grandparents,” laughed Mr. Lee, Coastline’s chief product officer.

It was Mr. Kirstiuk, the chief executive officer, who came up with the app idea while visiting family in Pointe-Verte, a coastal town in New Brunswick. On the dock buying fish for dinner, he thought: What if there was a way for commercial fishermen to sell more of their catch so they could keep a greater share of the profit and have more control of their income?

The idea prompted him to call Mr. Lee, and the two spent eight months researching the fish business. They hobnobbed with seafood executives at the Boston Seafood Show, the industry’s biggest annual gathering, and wandered onto docks in the Maritimes and B.C. to meet fishermen. At first they were politely rebuffed. “These guys have fished all their lives,” Mr. Lee says. He and Mr. Kirstiuk looked young enough to be in high school. But eventually fishermen did chat.

One was Mr. Hillis, who since September has been one of six B.C. fishermen, and 20 Vancouver-area restaurants, such as Espana and the Farmer’s Apprentice, to work with Coastline. Every week restaurants put out orders for seafood on the app. Fishermen checking the app fulfill them if they can. A truck from Coastline delivers the catch straight from dock to restaurant.

“We don’t have any brick-and-mortar facilities. We don’t store the fish or process it. We deliver same-day and reduce the number of middlemen,” says Mr. Lee.

Fisherman who sell through Coastline are paid 50 per cent to 200 per cent more for their catch than what they’d get from wholesalers, says Mr. Lee, although prices can vary. Coastline pays $2.30 a pound for rockfish; a fish processor might pay 80 cents.

Restaurants, meanwhile, get a price break, paying around 25 per cent less than they would to a wholesaler. Coastline makes money by keeping 20 per cent of the transaction price.

To launch their venture, Mr. Lee and Mr. Kirstiuk received $230,000 in funding from institutional investors, government matching funds and grant programs.

The company has three additional staff and is launching a mobile app in December. The desktop app Coastline built for its test phase is being used by fishermen on their laptops, but the plan is to build out the mobile app as the main platform.

To succeed, Coastline must overcome several obstacles. One is the established supply chain. Price may not be enough for restaurants to switch from reliable suppliers they’ve done business with for years.

The seafood industry also does not tend to buy and sell online. But, as Mr. Kirstiuk points out, that is changing. He cites Gfresh, a two-year-old Shanghai-based company whose online platform lets exporters around the world sell live seafood to restaurants and other buyers in China without having to go through middlemen.

Gfresh has a team in Vancouver and earlier this month raised $20-million (U.S.) from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Legend Capital. “Three years from now online platforms will be the dominant way of exporting seafood around the world,” Gfresh co-founder Anthony Wan says.

Another potential issue for Coastline is the size of the market it can tap. Besides Vancouver, few Canadian coastal cities seem large enough to ensure big demand from restaurants, says Pierre Verreault, executive director of the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters, in Ottawa. Still, anything to encourage consumption of Canadian fish is good, he adds. Seventy-nine per cent of seafood harvested in Canada gets exported. But 73 per cent of seafood we eat is imported.

Mr. Lee and Mr. Kirstiuk (who are taking a break from university to concentrate on their venture), peg the seafood market potential in Vancouver at $100-million. That includes restaurants, but also fish markets and independent grocers. They hope to win a share of that by establishing Coastline in Vancouver, followed by Victoria, Seattle and other U.S. cities down the Pacific Coast. They aim to raise $1-million in seed round funding.

Coastline’s app has traceability features, meaning chefs can find out where the fish they’re serving was caught, what fishing method was used and some information about the fisherman. That gives it another advantage over most traditional supply chains.

Carey Bonnell, head of the School of Fisheries at the Marine Institute at Memorial University in St. John’s, says such tidbits of information now matter because chefs want to know where their food comes from so they can buy local. A recent survey by research firm Technomic found 81 per cent of independent restaurant owners in Canada believe a local purchasing policy is important.

Mr. Bonnell recently dined at a restaurant in Ottawa that serves cod from Fogo Island Fish, a company that promotes cod from Newfoundland’s Fogo Island to restaurants in Toronto and other major cities. He was delighted the chef knew all about Fogo Island fishing and was able to tell diners how their meal was landed; using small boats and traditional handline catch methods.

“Here’s an opportunity to get restaurants more excited about Canadian seafood and to turn a restaurant visit into a great eating experience, with a story,” he says.

Posted 387 weeks ago

Green tea has the same genetic lineage as black tea. They originate from the same plant. Black tea has almost no medical uses because it is made from dried, then roasted leaves. The production of green tea involves immediate, gentle steaming of the fresh-picked leaves.

For eons of time, green tea has been China’s favorite beverage. Over the past two decades the western world has been exploring the healing attributes of this amazing herb. The gentle leaf processing technique is responsible for the high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants. These substances prevent the formation of free radicals. Lab studies have shown that green tea is a better source of antioxidants than foods rich in vitamins E and C.

Green tea protects against free-radical-induced diseases. The antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is the source of green tea’s healing power. Multiple studies reveal that green tea significantly reduces the risk of developing stomach cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer and breast cancer in women. It can effectively alleviate menopause hot flushes and stabilize estrogen levels.

Researchers have also discovered that green tea lowers cholesterol, prevents tooth decay, heart diseases and the formation of blood clots. Green tea improves asthma patients’ breathing. Green tea is strongly recommended for weight loss, because the naturally-contained caffeine suppresses appetite.

Mother Nature has granted us the healthiest beverage in recorded history.

This article was first published by Ordinary Entrepreneurs.

Posted 422 weeks ago

Plastic six-pack holders are often a death sentence for marine life. Fish, turtles, otters, birds - all kinds of seashore and ocean-dwelling creatures - are maimed and killed due to the toxic packaging that makes it easy for us to schlep soda and beer. It’s nothing to drink to.

SaltWater Brewery wants to reduce the use of hazardous plastic rings, and it’s brewed a brilliant alternative to get the ball rolling - and to help launch its new Screamin’ Reels IPA. The Delray Beach, Fla., craft brewery used beer-brewing byproducts, including barley and wheat pulp, to create a 100 percent biodegradable six-pack ring that marine life can eat.

Posted 425 weeks ago

[Photography: credit Andrew Crowley / Getty Images]

British families are shunning cereal and are instead opting for eggs for a more quick and healthy breakfast according to new research.

In a report commissioned by the British Egg Industry Council it was revealed egg consumption at breakfast is up by 18 per cent over the past two years while sales of cereal have fallen by around £140m in the last year.

Not only are eggs delicious and incredibly versatile, they are an extremely healthy choice too, being full of protein, low in calories and full of vitamins.

Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “The huge growth in egg sales over the past two or three years has been driven by people at both ends of the age spectrum.

"Younger people are eating significantly more eggs than previously and older people, always a key group, are also increasing consumption.

"Our research shows that people see eggs as the basis for a healthy breakfast, particularly if they are concerned about sugar intake.”

Below, we have recipe suggestions which include sweet-potato mash with bacon lardons, fried egg and parsley pesto, a hearty bacon and eggs tart, or the perfect shakshuka. Or how about kale with chorizo and eggs or eggs with greens, feta and chilli?

Easy and exciting breakfast egg recipes

Sweet-potato mash with bacon lardons, fried egg and parsley pesto

[Photography: credit Yuki Sugiura]

Breakfast bacon and eggs tart

[Photography: credit Telegraph]

Persian-inspired eggs with dates and chilli

[Photography: credit Haraala Hamilton]

The perfect shakshuka

[Photography: credit Laura Edwards]

Breakfast greens with eggs, feta and chilli

[Photography: credit Haraala Hamilton]

Kale with chorizo and eggs

[Photography: credit Toby Murphy]

Indian cheese on toast with eggs and chilli

[Photography: credit Dishoom]

Potato cakes, smoked bacon, poached eggs

[Photography: credit Andrew Crowley]

Baked eggs with salmon and spinach

[Photography: credit Hugh Carter]

Luxury boiled egg recipe, with smoked salmon and caviar

[Photography: credit Kate Whitaker]

New potato and chorizo hash with asparagus, poached egg

[Photography: credit Telegraph]

Egg with Rainbow Chard and cinnamon

[Photography: credit Christopher Jones]

This article was published on 12/05/16 by Telegraph Reporters, under the title: “Eggs: easy and inventive breakfast recipes“

Posted 427 weeks ago
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